Every year British Columbians are involved in human-wildlife conflicts.
To reduce these potentially dangerous situations, the Province is awarding WildSafeBC $275,000 to provide education and increase awareness in communities.
As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, British Columbians are spending more time outdoors, increasing the chances of human-wildlife conflict. The majority of these encounters are with bears emerging from hibernation and looking for food. Other wildlife − such as cougars, coyotes and wolves − are becoming more active, and increasing the potential for conflict.
This provincial funding will allow WildSafeBC to support more than 100 communities throughout B.C. in their efforts to reduce human-wildlife conflicts. This year, 22 co-ordinators will provide presentations to community groups, schools and residents, offering educational tips to reduce these conflicts.
WildSafeBC is designed, owned and delivered by the B.C. Conservation Foundation. The primary objective is keeping wildlife wild and communities safe by arming British Columbians with the tools necessary to discourage wildlife from lingering in residential areas. Locking up garbage, picking ripe fruit and installing sensor lights are a few ways to keep wildlife moving through urban areas.
The Conservation Officer Service (COS) is B.C.’s primary responder to human-wildlife conflicts where there is a risk to public safety, conservation concerns, or where significant property damage has occurred. The COS is working closely with local governments and co-ordinators to identify and resolve wildlife-related issues in B.C. communities.
In 2014-15, the Conservation Officer Service received 29,200 calls regarding human-wildlife conflicts. Of those calls, 17,771 involved bears.